Bucket-list trips: How much do these common wish-list holidays cost?


The world is an amazing place, and many of us have a few dream vacations on our bucket list. But how much do these once-in-a-lifetime adventures actually cost? Here’s a breakdown of some common bucket list holidays.


Climbing Mount Everest


Not only is Mount Everest a huge physical and mental challenge that many would-be mountaineers spend months and sometimes years preparing for, it can also be a huge challenge financially to gather the funds.


For starters, you’ll need to decide whether you are going to trek to base camp, or attempt the summit. While the journey to base camp is by no means easy or without risks, venturing beyond that sees climbers in the so-called ‘death zone’ where the risk of fatality rises exponentially. You’ll also be looking at a further six weeks at base camp before you attempt the summit, in order to acclimate to the thin air and altitude.


All up, the cost to climb Everest runs at around $65,000USD. This takes into account the money you will spend training to be in the best shape of your life before you attempt the climb, the $10,000USD or so in gear you will need to keep yourself safe from the elements, and a minimum of around $35,000USD for the actual climb itself. Prices for the climb can go up to $100,000USD depending on the size of your group, and the amount of support you engage. You’ll also need to consider flights and emergency evacuation insurance.


Machu Pichu


This 15th-century Incan citadel, situated high in the Andes Mountains of Peru, is on many a traveller’s bucket list. There are a number of ways to see this UNESCO World Heritage listed site, and how you get there will play a significant role in how much you spend. There are a slew of options for those looking to experience this phenomenal site, so do your research.


First and foremost, you need to get to Cusco, which is usually done via flight from Lima and costs between $250-$400USD, depending on your airline. From there, you need to get to Machu Picchu Pueblo (colloquially called Aguas Calientes). This can be done by train, after you first taxi to the station in nearby Ollantaytambo or Poroy. These taxi rides will cost you between $20-40USD, and the train ride from these stations to Machu Pichu Pueblo should be around $150USD.


Many travellers opt to stay overnight or a few days here, to acclimate to the altitude, and this is where forward planning will pay off. There are a limited number of hotels and accommodation in Aguas Calientes, so you are advised to book well in advance. The range of amenities also varies greatly, as does the cost. You can expect to spend between $200-$400USD dollars a night, unless you opt for the renowned Sanctuary Inn, right at the main entry of Machu Pichu, which will set you back around $1100USD/night. It’s also helpful to be aware that the afternoon rush of trekkers returning from Machu Pichu can put serious strain on the hot water supply! You will also pay around $50USD for entry to Machu Pichu.


For those more inclined towards adventure travel, you can take one of the famous multi-day trekking tours along the ancient Incan roads, camping over multiple nights along the way. The cost of these varies enormously depending on your tour company, the route you take and the length of your trek. Similar to Everest (but on a smaller scale) you’ll also need to take into account some physical training before you go and the gear you’ll need along the way, plus insurance and medications such as anti-malarial tablets.


Galapagos Islands


The Galapagos Islands, a province of Ecuador, is considered one of the world’s foremost wildlife-viewing experiences. This is one of those destinations you can do relatively inexpensively, or go all-out. But like any popular destination located off the mainland, you will spend a bit to get there.


The easiest way to get to the Galapagos is from mainland Ecuador, and a round flight to the islands will cost you approx. $600USD. From there, most people will take a ship to cruise around the islands, and costs can vary wildly depending on the cruise company, your cabin, time of year, length of cruise and other inclusions. You can go ‘tourist class’ for around $350USD, all the way up to a luxury five-star experience for $15,000USD!


There is also a $100USD fee for entry to the national park on the islands, of which 50% goes towards the park for conservation efforts.


You can also opt to island-hop via plane, staying on some of the islands that have hotels and amenities for a few nights if you prefer.


Have these ideas given you itchy feet? Consider a personal loan to kick-start your dream adventure!